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Bounce! Conversations with Larry Weeks

Interviews w/ authors, entrepreneurs, athletes and others on resilience, getting on or getting over life’s set ups and setbacks.

On the podcast Larry has in-depth conversations with notable people from a variety of fields and occupations; professors, entrepreneurs, athletes, physicians, etc, to get their stories or research on how to deal with or prepare for life’s challenges, stumbles, and stings. If research exists on how people bounce back, he talks about it. If there are physical practices, proven psychologies or philosophies that can help people build personal foundations before the storms come, he digs into it.

Sep 15, 2017

My guest is this episode is Caroline Miller. Author of Getting Grit (2017) For almost three decades has been a pioneer with her ground-breaking work in the areas of goal setting, accomplishment, grit, happiness and success.


She is recognized as one of the world’s leading positive psychology experts on this research and how it can be applied to one’s life for maximum transformation and growth. In 2015 she was named “one of the ten positive psychology coaches to follow.”

Caroline thinks we need a grit revolution. A change in our recognition and cultural reward system where effort is venerated over talent and people do their best every day regardless of how hard it is and we are all part of other people also being their best. 

How important is grit?

Caroline has written on the use of the twelve-item Grit Scale and found it to be the leading predictor of who drops out at West Point during the first summer, known as “Beast Barracks.” It had also worked with preteens, determining who would be in the finals of the National Spelling Bee.

Grit is considered a key ingredients of high achievement.

We live in an exciting but challenging times. Disruptive economic conditions, geopolitical strife and now every negative event around the globe is piped into our homes via television and the internet.

Add to this the natural vicissitudes of life itself. As I’m writing this we are rebuilding our fences, screens and cleaning up after a direct hit by hurricane Irma and Houston just went through much worse with Harvey. 

Without grit, we can be handicapped by discouragement, fear, inertia and habituated comfort.

At various points, big and small, we get knocked down. If we stay down, grit loses. If we get up, grit prevails

– Angela Duckworth, Grit

If you’ve been knocked down … you’ll need some grit to get up and try again.

 The value of hard things 

Caroline has done a great deal of research on what really makes people happy. A lot of that data points toward the imperative of doing difficult things in order to live a satisfying, high-quality life filled with achievement.

If you do nothing hard at the end of the day the research shows, you feel mediocre about yourself because you know you went for a low hanging fruit.

– Caroline Miller

Research she has done in Goal Setting Theory, holds that “challenging and specific” goals are required if someone wants to attain the highest levels of performance. Easy goals, don’t just result in mediocrity, she says, but also leave people feeling mediocre.

You aren’t happy doing nothing. You are driven to master environments in order to feel related, autonomous and competent.

Self efficacy theory is the belief you can do hard things and she says there ways to build that belief. One is just by having small mastery experiences, challenge yourself by doing successively hard things; like parking farther away from the store, taking a cold shower or getting up earlier, mowing your own lawn.

Exercise your grit muscle.

Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life

–  Jerzy Gregorik, Olympic weightlifter

Caroline is  like a cross between Tony Robbins and Sheryl Sandberg. She’s motivational, incredibly articulate and footnotes her sentences with research and scientific articles incredibly articulate. Her passion for the topic and her zest is contagious.

In this interview, we cover a lot, including:

  • Defining grit, the various types and how they differ
  • The research on purpose and goal setting
  • How to develop grit and the science behind it
  • Her story and how she overcame eating disorder
  • The importance of hope – what it really is
  • How the nation is promoting mediocrity in many arenas
  • The research on how we can build strengths
  • How to cultivate grit in ourselves
  • How we can teach our children to be gritty – she has some strong opinions here
  • How mantras and mottos can change your life

Listen up, take notes, if you don’t already follow Caroline, I think you’ll be a fan.

Show Notes and Resources Click Here